Dress for Success Reno – Northern Nevada: Employed women | Undergraduate Research – Nevada Today

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Dress for Success Reno – Northern Nevada has served hundreds of women since opening its doors in 2018. We don’t have an accurate number of how many women are working and how Dress for Success helped them get back into the workforce. We are in search of data to best serve our community of women and testimonies of these women to share with future candidates.
When Dress for Success Reno – Northern Nevada (DFSRNN) was founded, we set out to address the catch-22 that confronts disadvantaged women trying to enter the workforce: “Without a job, how can you afford interview clothes? But without interview clothes, how can you get a job?” We quickly became well-known for providing career wear to disadvantaged women returning to or entering the workforce. We’ve experience over 500 visits from women since 2018. As our organization has grown, so too has our ability to serve the total needs of our clients. Today, DFSRNN has five signature programs that enable us to help make sure each of our clients is successful.
Job-ready women come to DFSRNN by referral only from a range of non-profit organizations. Each client works one-on-one with a highly trained volunteer personal shopper who helps her select professional attire and also provides support and encouragement as she prepares for her upcoming interviews. DFSRNN provides each client with an interview outfit, cosmetics, footwear and accessories-and most importantly, positive reinforcement and a boost of confidence. After a client finds work, she can return to DFSRNN for a full week’s worth of career attire. The clothing that we provide to our clients symbolizes our belief in every woman’s ability to succeed.
Along with the success of landing a new job, newly employed women often encounter an unfamiliar set of employment obstacles. From understanding corporate culture to managing personal finances, career novices are often left to navigate the unwritten rules of the workplace with little or no support. The Professional Women’s Group (PWG) bolsters the careers of successfully employed DFSRNN women in their first year on the job, called “One Year, One Job,” by providing them with a network of support, practical information and inspiration to remain employed so they can truly thrive
Year two of the PWG, called “Leading to Success,” provides leadership mentoring and personal goal setting for each member. Leadership experts from the community are invited to impart their knowledge and expertise. The presenters are dynamic, engaging and fully support the mission of DFSRNN, the PWG and its members.
With computer/printer accessibility for all members, the Career Center focuses on mentor-based counseling using technology and boosting self-confidence, so women get the job that matches their skillset and reach their goals including resume writing/review, LinkedIn profile assessment, job search, job applications and job interview training. The DFSRNN Career Center of tomorrow will also help women continue on their path to financial freedom. Earning a living is only half of the journey to financial independence for all of us. A truly successful woman must also understand and be a good steward of her finances in order to support herself and her family.
Dress for Success Reno – Northern Nevada needs to create a survey instrument that will be sent to current and past participants of 5 programs. Information from this survey will be used to trends? in [1] participant demographics; current employment status? [2] career-specific information for 1-3 positions worked after receiving Dress for Success services (such as sector, pay rate, hours worked per week, etc., starting wage vs. current wage); [3] feedback on learning about Dress for Success and where the organization could expand outreach in Northern Nevada. Dress for Success has contact information from participants for the past five years. The first semester will focus on working with Dress for Success to create, pre-test, and deploy a survey instrument that can be used for an initial data collection and future collections of alumni information. This project is ideal for students in business, political science, public administration, social work, sociology etc.
Patricia Pietsch Weiske
(775) 846-9814


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